By 2020, India’s real estate sector is expected to reach $ 180 billion and if reports are to be believed, it will result in phenomenal economic growth and take the nation to new heights. Currently, real estate contributes to almost 5-6% of the country’s GDP and it is projected to double up in the years to come.

It is interesting how the sector has evolved in more recent times with innovative technologies bringing a paradigm shift in market conditions and consumer mind set. Technology has ushered in a new revolution in every other business sector, but real estate has witnessed a complete turnaround, in terms of boosting investments and getting maximum returns. It has essentially transformed the way a common man thinks, understands and perceives the real estate experience.

All is well if your customer is well

Real Estate is an industry that thrives and grows on the customer satisfaction experience. Therefore as a developer or a buyer it is imperative for you to track and analyse the emerging trends and adapt to the latest technologies to attract, convert and retain customers. This will not only fast track the entire process of buying and selling in a smooth and effortless manner; it will make your business environment, efficient, productive and cost-effective and enable you to be on top of your game. Real success lies in how you can make your business grow with profitability and yet produce the results your customer wants.

RERA: The game changer

Over the next few years, the ecosystem of the real estate will be greatly influenced by a host of regulatory reforms- that were brought into effect in recent times. These include RERA, GST (Goods and Service Tax), Bankruptcy law, Benami Properties Act & NGT. The regulatory reforms will have major implications on the way businesses are managed.

While each reform has its own significance, RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act) is being touted as the most important legislation that will transform and revolutionise business and take real estate to a new level of success.

RERA seeks to protect the interests of home buyers. It means the developers will be answerable and accountable as buyers will now have complete clarity on when they can expect possession, and what is the legal recourse, if the developer fails to complete the project within the stipulated timeframe. Thus RERA will ensure complete transparency in business dealings; the consumer will be heard and attended to, and will not be cheated of his rightful claims.

On the other hand, RERA will set the tone for a positive change for the real estate developer.  It will upgrade and redefine real estate with a modern approach, ensure better project planning, comprehensive and structured thinking, smooth implementation and management, and adoption of best practices and quality standards, thereby making the whole exercise systematic and organised. Most importantly, RERA will establish trust between the developer and the buyer that will go a long way in the progress and sustainability of the real estate industry.

The compliance norms of RERA and GST are a continuous process and technology will play an integral role as a key enabler to the whole process. Also, the Goods and service tax (GST) as well as the Benami transactions (Prohibition) amendment act will exert a major influence on how developers are running their business.

The Mobile Wave

With mobile devices and Internet of Things (IOT) penetrating the market, the landscape of real estate is witnessing an unprecedented shift. Almost every other person today has access to smart phones.  In fact as per google, out of 350 million internet users in India, around 200 million access the net through smart phones. Because of smartphones, house hunting process has become much easier. Today builders are providing customers with a virtual tour of properties, be it under-construction homes for purchase, ready flats or furnished apartments on rent.

Technology is the key differentiator

Nowadays, a 3D model of a building can be accessed on a mobile device thereby allowing technicians or site engineers to work digitally.  Similarly quality checks can be done and recorded electronically through mobile devices. So, right from planning to design concept to construction until distribution, technology is opening new doors and promising you better opportunities.  Especially using digital tools to explore new areas, tactics and marketing techniques is a rewarding experience in the real industry sector.

Fortunately developers are waking up to the reality that they cannot survive any longer without getting the ‘tech edge’.  The powerful presence of social media and the huge growth of e-commerce are saying it all. Developers have started creating their own websites that act as platforms for any and every kind of property across the country. Potential buyers and customers are tracked online and great efforts are being made to provide as much detail as possible to ensure transparency.

The virtual reality

On the other hand buyers are becoming more aware and spending time in doing extensive research and exploring different options virtually before checking out properties physically and investing their hard earned money. The virtual tour experience is convenient and almost equal to visiting a property; in fact it’s even better, as it saves time and cost.  Additionally, e-auctions are also being initiated that offer great promise and value while buying new properties.

Likewise, online home festivals, an ongoing trend of leading property consultancies and developers, have brought in an entirely new and convenient way for customers within and outside India to boost their available options while simultaneously benefiting from spot deals, offers, and discounts.

 Trends that are  shaping the real estate sector

  • A lot more innovation is taking place in the mobility solutions for a customer. Today real estate consultancies can easily build a strong customer- developer connect through the many new technology –enabled channels available in the market.
  • With big data and analytics seamlessly integrating with the property brokerage industry, consultancies are leveraging data and insights in many innovative ways. These include securing and feeding deal and bid information into their company’s central repository at just a click away, matching customers’ requirements instantly with the available options, tracking data on projects’ construction progress and regulatory compliances in real time and payment and progress tracker. Thus technological advances are making the whole process very interesting, engaging and exciting for customers, developers and consultants alike.
  • Another technological aspect that will change the face of India’s property consulting industry in the years to come is improved use of predictive analytics. Such algorithms will be able to accurately target customers with complete information, mainly , the exact kind of properties they are looking to buy, for example, you will find,  e-commerce portals, nowadays  are  replete with  personalized ‘wish-lists’ from people of  buying properties online.
  • In very recent times tech support systems like Augment Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) saw a huge increase in business profits. Many start-ups invested into the tech. Basically AR and VR allow homebuyers to get a complete insight of the house, right from the view out of the window to the furniture placement. Developers are increasingly using these technologies to highlight how their under-construction property will finally look like once completed.
  • In future, Mixed Reality, which includes AR, VR, and IOT, can bridge the gap between digital and real life. Mixed reality would be of great use in visualising designs, reducing time, marketing and cutting cost.
  • Connective realities, smarter homes, and better privacy are some of the fundamental aspects, where real estate will gain prominence in the days ahead.
  • Artificial Intelligence technology proves highly useful to home buyers as it helps them make swift decisions. Intelligent tools like chatbots are used to interact with customers, through which buyers are able to obtain valuable information about desired properties and the buying or selling process in a minimum period of time. As a result of the growth of chatbots at present, customers are able to interact with companies through their Facebook business pages at any given time.

Indeed, today the real estate industry is riding the new wave of evolution, leveraging technology as a competitive advantage. The journey has just begun and India has miles to go!  Apparently there is a target of building one crore new houses in rural India and The Housing for All initiative is expected to   create waves of changes in 2022.   If on the one hand, you must dream big, on the other, you ought to remember that it’s time for you to wake up and smell the coffee.

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